Michigan Downtown Conference Planning Partners Announce Consolidation with Building Michigan Communities Conference

Apr 25, 2012, 11:23 ET from Michigan State Housing Development Authority

Common goals, broader audience and lower costs cited

LANSING, Mich., April 25, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Michigan Downtown Conference Planning Partners, a coalition of state agencies and statewide nonprofits, has announced it will consolidate its annual conference with the recently rebranded Building Michigan's Communities Conference (BMCC). The Building Michigan's Communities Conference is the largest conference of its kind in the country. The consolidation of the Michigan Downtown Conference with the new BMC Conference will result in a downtown-specific track starting next year.

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The new track will join several other tracks, including Vibrant Communities, Homeownership, Assets and Homelessness.

"This consolidation will give traditional attendees of each conference more exposure to the innovative practices and projects the other's audiences have been working on," said Joe Borgstrom, director of the Downtown & Community Services division of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). "This will lead to more innovative partnerships among non-traditional partners who may have viewed themselves as having different interests in the past, but will come to see they share many common goals."

The Michigan Downtown Conference was traditionally held in September, while the Building Michigan's Communities Conference is held in April. As a result of the consolidation, there will not be a Michigan Downtown Conference for 2012. Instead, the former Michigan Downtown Conference Planning Partners will work to develop the downtown track of the 2013 Building Michigan's Communities Conference.

"The consolidation of these conferences makes sense not only because they have common goals, but also because many of the organizations who did try to attend both conferences no longer have the budgets to do it," said Dan Gilmartin, executive director of the Michigan Municipal League. "Local governments and organizations are being more mindful of their limited resources. Efforts that help these organizations stretch their budgets and provide quality information to their attendees are definitely appreciated."

The Building Michigan's Communities Conference is scheduled for April 29-May 1, 2013 at the Lansing Center.

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) provides financial and technical assistance through public and private partnerships to create and preserve decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents and to engage in community economic development activities to revitalize urban and rural communities.*

*MSHDA's loans and operating expenses are financed through the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds as well as notes to private investors, not from state tax revenues. Proceeds are loaned at below-market interest rates to developers of rental housing, and help fund mortgages and home improvement loans. MSHDA also administers several federal housing programs. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/mshda.

SOURCE Michigan State Housing Development Authority